Legends of Quantitative Finance headline Rutgers MQF Quant Summit

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Inside the bright lights of Times Square’s NASDAQ tower, over 250 Rutgers students, alumni, faculty, staff and finance professionals witnessed a lively discussion between four quantitative finance legends on the state of the industry today and lessons learned from the financial crisis.

Bob Litterman, Former Chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Quantitative Investment Strategies Group;  Bruno Dupire, Head of Quantitative Research at Bloomberg; Leslie Rahl, Founder and Managing Partner of Capital Market Risk Advisors; and Elie Ayache, CEO of ITO 33, were prodded by veteran Wall Street journalist Robert Lenzner, former national editor of Forbes Magazine, on array of topics ranging from risk management before and after the financial crisis, the use and misuse of derivatives, the importance of being able to communicate with non-quants, and volatility in today’s markets.

Quant Panel Pictured from Left to Right: Elie Ayache, Leslie Rahl, Robert Lenzner, Bob Litterman, and Bruno Dupire.

The event was conceived and organized by the Master of Quantitative Finance (MQF) class of 2013 led by John Iborg in what will become an annual Quant Summit.  “This has been a great experience for me, my classmates, and the entire MQF program,” said Iborg, the 2013 MQF Class President. “This is the first event of its size and importance that the MQF has seen, and it was thrilling to host four of the best quants out there.”

Litterman, who became Risk Manager at Goldman Sachs in 1994, talked about how understanding risk management and executing the recommendations were not the same jobs. “As risk manager, you can only show what your positions look like, but it’s up to the business to act on them or not,” he said.

Receiving the “Lifetime Achievement” award in 2008 from Risk Magazine, Dupire told the students to make sure they seek to add value to society. “Why quantitative finance instead of engineering or manufacturing?” asked Dupire. “If you choose to become a quant, make sure you fill a real need for clients,” he said.

Rahl and Ayache told stories about the stock market crash in October 1987. Rahl had flown to Japan for client meetings only to be told to fly back that same day to the United States to deal with the crisis. For Ayache, October 19, 1987, known as “Black Monday,” was his first day on the job. “This experience of such tremendous volatility shaped how I think about quantitative finance to this day,” said Ayache.

Over 250 Rutgers students, faculty, alumni and finance professionals attended the 1st Annual MQF Quant Summit.

Rutgers MQF students were impressed by the panelists. “It was such a tremendous opportunity to learn from so much experience in the quantitative finance field,” said Anuj Bansel, a first year MQF student. Other students said that the event at NASDAQ helped put Rutgers MQF on the map. “In the heart of New York City at NASDAQ really shows how prestigious Rutgers Business School is becoming,” said John Mongold, a first-year MBA student studying finance and accounting.  

The Master of Quantitative Finance program has been a part of Rutgers Business School since 2001. Since its inception, the program has steadily grown in size and reputation. The MQF is represented by alumni working at institutions such as J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, Barclays and Bank of New York. Many professors and board members of the program come from Wall Street and incorporate their real world experience into the curriculum.  Rutgers MQF is ranked a “top 10 quant school” by Advanced Trading.

The Rutgers MQF Student Body accompanied by Litterman, Ayache, program director Yangru Wu, program administrator Jane Foss, director of career management Larry Keating, and MQF alumni.

Read the Forbes article on the event:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2012/01/31/overconfidence-is-the-engine-of-danger-in-capitalism/

TAGS: Graduate Admissions Master of Quantitative Finance